Effect of environment on the fatigue and the tensile properties of glass fiber reinforced vinyl ester and epoxy thermosets

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Saudi Digital Library
During the long-term exposure of Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) pipes, material degradation is expected to occur in the matrix, fiber, and the fiber-matrix interfacial regions. The degradation rate may be constant or increase/decrease with time and can be gradual and abrupt. These changes in the degradation mechanisms may also occur during the long-term exposure. All of these issues raise serious concerns regarding the long-term durability of the FRP pipes and constitute problems that require solutions before extensive use of the FRP pipes is made to replace their metallic counterparts. The objective of this research is to investigate the effect of environment on the performance of vinyl ester and epoxy based glass fiber-reinforced thermo-set composite pipes intended for use in oil and seawater transportation. In these applications, the pipes are subjected to both static (design stress) and cyclic loads (pressure fluctuation). The effects of wide range of accelerated and the natural environments on the tensile and the fatigue behavior were explored. The accelerated conditions include Dry heat, UV radiation, humidity, seawater and salt water immersion, salt fog, and oxygen saturated salt water. The fractographic analysis of the specimens were done to evaluate environmental effect on the fracture process in the pipes.